Alcohol Essay, Research Paper
1. What is alcoholism?
2. How do people become alcoholics?
3. What are the effects of alcoholism, on both the alcoholic and their family?
4. How do you diagnose alcoholism?
5. Is there a cure for alcoholics?
6. What is the treatment?
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism can be defined as the dependency on alcohol; addiction to alcohol. It
is a chronic disease, this disease called alcoholism is progressive and potentially fatal. ?
In 1966 the American Medical Association (AMA) declared Alcoholism a disease, but it
is still judged morally by society? said Father Martin. There are different types of
alcoholics, the first type of alcoholic is the everyday drinker. These alcoholics drink on a
daily basis with a high dependency on alcohol. A second type is the weekend alcoholics,
they drink on weekends, usually to excess. Finally, the third type is the binge drinker.
This is a person who drinks heavily on occasion. Probably the most dangerous type of
alcoholism, because they are most likely to die of alcohol poisoning.
How do people become alcoholics?
Alcoholics don?t know how they became alcoholics. Some say it is genetic on the
stress gene, triggered by psychological or social stress. While others say it is a learned
maladaptive coping behavior.
Studies have shown that alcoholism may be genetic. If alcoholism is genetic it
would be indirect. it would be related to the stress gene. This means that stress would set
off a trigger that makes alcohol a want to the person. If alcoholism is learned behavior it
means that drinking is a bad coping skill, most likely learned through an alcoholic parent.
What are the effects of alcoholism, on both the alcoholic and their family?
Alcohol has terrible effects on health, family and work. The effects of alcohol on
the body are cirrhosis of the liver, loss of brain cells, stomach cancer, depression, tremors
An alcoholic in the family causes many disruptions to the members of the family.
They start arguments and fights by not functioning or being drunk. They either do not
attend family gatherings or disrupt them. Some alcoholics can be abusive to other family
members. A lot of alcoholic families find themselves in financial trouble, caused by the
alcoholic using most of the money to buy alcohol. Kids of an alcoholic suffer the most,
listening to arguments and being the blame of their parents drinking, making the child
feel at fault. This causes the child to become depressed. They stop bringing friends home
and do not attend many social events.
Alcoholism causes excessive absences at work. Which causes loss of money for
both the employee and the employer. Up to 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of
industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol consumption and alcoholism. Alcohol also
impairs productivity at work. Alcohol seriously effects one out of every ten Americans. It
is the cause of more deaths, violence, family disruption and job absenteeism than any
How do you diagnose alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a tough disease for doctors to diagnose, due to the fact that any
physical effects of alcoholism can be viewed as another medical problem. The alcoholic
is in denial and is not going to tell the doctor how much they drink, unless the doctor
asks, but most doctors don?t.
You can diagnose yourself by answering some of the following questions:
1. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
2. Is alcohol making your life unhappy?
3. Has drinking alcohol ever been behind your losing a job?
4. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
5. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
6. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
7. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
8. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
9. Do you want a drink the next morning?
10. Have you ever had a complete or partial loss of memory as a result of drinking?
11. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
12. Does drinking make you careless of your families welfare?
14. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?
If you answered yes to some of these questions you may be at risk of being an alcoholic.
Is there a cure for alcoholism and what is the treatment?
There is no cure for alcoholism, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic; there is
treatments, however, that is to stop drinking completely. You are then considered a
recovering alcoholic. There are many ways to stop drinking. There are detoxification
centers, the purpose of detoxification centers is to aid alcoholics through the withdrawal
stages. Withdrawal symptoms include sleeplessness, sweating, depression, headache,
weakness, vomiting, alcoholic seizures and delirium tremens (D.T.?s). There are support
groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) to help people stop drinking and start dealing
with their problems. There are also recovery homes and halfway houses that help aid
alcoholics to sobriety. There is no one way to recover from alcoholism.
The family also needs help recovering, sense alcoholism is a family disease. For
them there are support groups, like ALA-non and ALA-teen. They could also seek family
or group counseling with a professional counselor. It takes a lot of time and commitment
for the alcoholic to stay sober and the family to heal the scars left by alcoholism.
In Alcoholics Anonymous there are twelve steps to recovery and twelve traditions.
The twelve steps to recovery are:
? We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives have become
? Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.?
? Made a decision to turn our will and our lives to the care of God as we
? Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves?
?Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of
? Were entirely ready to have god remove all these defects of character.?
? Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings?
? Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends
to them all?
? Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so
would injure them or others.?
? Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
? Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power
to carry that out.?
? Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry
this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all or affairs.?
There are twelve traditions that must be followed by the members of Alcoholics
? Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A.
? For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He
may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they
do not govern.?
? The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.?
? Each group should be autonomous except in the matters affecting other groups
or A.A. as a whole.?
? Each group has but one primary purpose to carry its message to the alcoholic
who still suffers.?
? An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any
related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert
us from our primary purpose.?
? Every A.A. group ought to be self-supporting, declining outside contributions.?
? Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service
centers may employ special workers.?
? A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we create service boards or
committees directly responsible to those they serve.?
? Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name
ought never be drawn into public controversy.?
? Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need
always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.?
? Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to
place principles before personalities.?
Silverstein, Herma. Alcoholism. New York: Franklin Watts, 1990
Wekesser, Carol. Alcoholism. San Diego: Greenhaven Press Inc., 1994
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. New York: Alcoholics Anonymous
World Services Inc., 1995
? Alcohol and Alcoholism.? The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs.
New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986